By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
SOUTHAVEN – Otis Wilson muscled 9 yards to give Tupelo a late lead on Friday night at Desoto Central, but it didn’t last long.
Desoto stole a 39-34 division win with a drive in the final seconds that took only two plays and ended with Steve Bradley’s 40-yard touchdown catch.
Bradley already had a 39-yarder from sophomore Austin Riley as the host Jaguars scored three straight touchdowns in the second half.
“I thought we had a bunch of guys that played hard. We shot ourselves in the foot in some key situations,” Tupelo coach David Bradberry said. “You just can’t do that against a good football team.”
The 75-yard drive took two passes, less than 24 seconds and left Tupelo with only 35.8 seconds to work with. The Golden Wave consistently drove backwards with multiple flags in the loss.
Bradberry said he can’t see a scenario that would put his team in the playoffs with two 1-6A games left.
“I doubt that. I just can’t imagine that happening. We’ll see what kind of character we have. We’re playing for pride,” he said.
Tupelo gave sophomore Alex Norwood his first career start and carried a 21-14 lead to the half behind touchdown runs from Alyjiawan Johnson (10), Quinn Tiggs (11) and Reed Taylor (5). Thomas Harris took snaps as well.
But the second of Keegan James’ touchdowns cut the Tupelo (3-6, 1-4) lead to one score in the final seconds of the half.
Winning the fourth
“We have a motto of ‘Win the fourth quarter’ and that’s what we went by,” Riley said.
Taylor added his second touchdown in the third, another 5-yard run for a 28-14 lead after the fourth of Drew White’s point after kicks.
Kendal Bunch scored the next two touchdowns for Desoto (6-3, 2-3) to pull within 28-26 and Bradley made a leaping grab for a 33-28 lead with 6:14 to play.
Wilson led a 70-yard ground attack that ended with his touchdown for the brief lead. Antonio Clifton had a pair of interceptions for the Wave.